What Is Inhibited in Inhibition of Return?

Patricia A. Reuter-Lorenz, Amishi P. Jha, James Neils Rosenquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Research on temporal-order judgments, reference frames, discrimination tasks, and links to oculomotor control suggest important differences between inhibition of return (IOR) and attentional costs and benefits. Yet, it is generally assumed that IOR is an attentional effect even though there is little supporting evidence. The authors evaluated this assumption by examining how several factors that are known to influence attentional costs and benefits affect the magnitude of IOR: target modality, target intensity, and response mode. Results similar to those previously reported for attention were observed: IOR was greater for visual than for auditory targets, showed an inverse relationship with target intensity, and was equivalent for manual and saccadic responses. Important parallels between IOR and attentional costs and benefits are indicated, suggesting that, like attention, IOR may in part affect sensory-perceptual processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-378
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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